Donald Trump’s campaign was framed as a fight against the globalists. He was going to get rid of NAFTA and TPP. He was going to drain the swamp. He promised to be a noninterventionist in foreign affairs.
Since becoming president, he’s done none of these things.
Well, not exactly true. Soon after he assumed office, the Donald upended the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership and, as The New York Times put it, “declared an end to the era of multinational trade agreements that defined global economics for decades.”
He said erasing Obama’s signature on the deal represented a win for American workers up against low wage near-slave laborers in Vietnam and Malaysia.
The base celebrated.
See, they said, our guy’s going after the globalists.
Not so fast.
On Thursday, Trump told his economic advisers led by Larry Kudlow he wants to look at getting back into the deal.
Trump sent out a tweet:
Would only join TPP if the deal were substantially better than the deal offered to Pres. Obama. We already have BILATERAL deals with six of the eleven nations in TPP, and are working to make a deal with the biggest of those nations, Japan, who has hit us hard on trade for years!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 13, 2018
Ben Sasse, R-Neb., said after a meeting with Trump reentering the deal would be the “single best way” to counter alleged Chinese trade abuses.
Trump also softened on his opposition to NAFTA.
“There’s no timeline” on renegotiation of the trade pact that exported thousands of US jobs. “Agriculture is OK with NAFTA, not great. We’re going to make it great. We’re getting pretty close to a deal. It could be three or four weeks, it could be two months, it could be five months. I don’t care,” he said on April 12.
Just last week, a few prominent members of the base voiced displeasure over Trump’s plan to bomb the bejesus out of Syria in response to an unconfirmed chemical weapon attack.
Is it possible such turncoat behavior will get him re-elected in 2020? What does he have to run on accomplishment-wise?
Maybe the neocons will get him re-elected.
Trump’s got John Bolton, who will shake-up the State Department along with CIA boss Mike Pompeo—if he’s confirmed, which appears likely—and they will stick a fresh crop of neocons and neoliberal humanitarian interventionists in there.